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13 May 2013

Smarter rules for safer food (Commission)

The European Commission adopted on 6 May a package of measures to strengthen the enforcement of health and safety standards for the whole agri-food chain. Smart regulators will be interested in the claim that the proposals have been inspired by the principles of better or smart regulation, more than in the relation with the horsemeat scandal which is undoubtedly in the back of the minds of the Commision:
According to the press release, "the package of measures provide a modernised and simplified, more risked-based approach to the protection of health and more efficient control tools to ensure the effective application of the rules guiding the operation of the food chain. The package responds to the call for better simplification of legislation and smarter regulation thus reducing administrative burden for operators and simplifying the regulatory environment. Special consideration is given to the impact of this legislation on SMEs and micro enterprises which are exempted from the most costly and burdensome elements in the legislation. The current body of EU legislation covering the food chain consists of almost 70 pieces of legislation. Today's package of reform will cut this down to 5 pieces of legislation and will also reduce the red-tape on processes and procedures for farmers, breeders and food business operators (producers, processors and distributors) to make it easier for them to carry out their profession." Yes, the elements are there: simplification, risk-based approach, reduction of aministrative burde:s, impact assessment, SMEs test, consolidation. For more on the package, see press pack.

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